A daughter of a lesbian couple was baptized by the Catholic Church in Argentina on Saturday, April 5 with President Cristina Fernandez acting as the godmother. It was the first case in the country, a gesture of opening from the institution headed by Argentine Pope Francis.
Umma, conceived by in-vitro fertilization was born in January was anointed with the Sacrament in the cathedral of Cordoba by permission of Archbishop Carlos Ñáñez.
Carina Villarroel 32, and Soledad Ortiz 28 were married in 2013 following the approval of a 2010 same-sex bill initiative of President Cristina Fernandez administration, thus the request she act as godmother. The president was absent from the ceremony and instead sent a naval aide.
Ortiz had personally asked the President to be the godmother because it is a way to thank her and former President Nestor Kirchner for that law that gave us rights, she said.
Ortiz told reporters that now we hope to get married by the church and we will fight for that.
Even when same-sex marriage has become legal in Argentina, it is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church, so far.
Although in other countries similar events are not surprising, including Spain, the fact is unprecedented for a lesbian marriage in Argentina, homeland of Pope Francisco who as Archbishop of Buenos Aires opposed gay marriage, although advocating granting gays baptism in a country 75% Catholic.
This has set a record, the Church has opened a big door after much struggle and discrimination, Carina said.
Umma Azul is like all children. That is the message: we are all equal, all are equal in the world, heterosexual and gay, we all have the same rights.
Last year the Catholic Church admitted the baptism of twins from the popular transsexual actress Florencia de la V and her husband.
Since he was elected Pope in 2013, Pope Francis has sponsored debate on the contemporary family and convened two synods (assemblies of bishops) for this year and in 2015.
Issues like gay marriage, civil unions, abortion, adoption by same-sex couples communion for the divorced and birth control which have been taboo for the Catholic Church were contained in a questionnaire sent to bishops around the world, who are expected to make decisions.
Pope Francis last summer told the media aboard a flight to Rome, Who am I to judge gay people? Two months later, in September 2013, Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians.